Li works her way past 16-year-old Bencic

Wilson Blade 9

In the first Wednesday’s second-round match on Rod Laver Arena, fourth seed Li Na won seven straight games, and gave away just 10 points in the first set, before facing a stiff competition in her twice younger opponent, qualifier Belinda Bencic who had knocked out Kimiko Date-Krumm, the oldest woman in the 2014 Australian Open draw. Winning the tense second set in the tiebreak, Li defeated the 16-year-old Swiss 6-0 7-6(5) and has now scored back-to-back victories over the youngest two players in the field, having taken out Ana Konjuh in the opening round.

Here’s what Li said of Bencic, who won two junior Grand Slams in 2013:

I think she play, really, like Martina Hingis.

Serena Williams comfortably recorded her 60th main draw win at the Australian Open and advanced to the third round, not facing a break point against Serbian Vesna Dolonc 6-1 6-2. Germany’s Mona Barthel stopped Luksika Kumkhum 4-6 6-3 6-4, the conqueror of Petra Kvitova, while her fellow German Sabine Lisicki lost the battle with the heat and Monica Niculescu profited 2-6 6-2 6-2. Lisicki commented on the match:

I did everything right for about one-and-a-half sets, but then the heat got to me.There comes a point when it’s just too hot to play professional sports.


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